Ina Garten’s Roasted Potato Fennel Soup Is a Hearty Barefoot Contessa Favorite

Ina Garten’s roasted potato fennel soup is a favorite from her days of owning the Barefoot Contessa specialty food store. The comforting soup recipe is easy to make and she has an easy trick for getting the perfect texture, too.

Ina Garten wears a bright blue shirt and cooks with Stephen Colbert who is seen drizzling oil
Ina Garten | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

Ina Garten started by roasting potatoes

Garten demonstrated how to make her comfort food recipe during an episode of Barefoot Contessa. “This roasted potato fennel soup is one of those great soups that we used to make at Barefoot Contessa,” she explained.

The Food Network host first cut Yukon gold potatoes into small pieces, keeping the skins on, and placed them on a sheet pan. She drizzled olive oil over the potatoes., noting, “Just want to make sure there’s enough oil so the potatoes roast well.”

Garten generously sprinkled salt and pepper over the potatoes. “I know it sounds like a lot, but you want the soup to have a lot of flavor,” she explained. Then she added chopped garlic, tossed everything together, and spread the potatoes into a single layer. “You want them to roast, not steam,” she explained.

Garten roasted the potatoes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes until they were browned.

Ina Garten’s roasted potato fennel soup comes together quickly

Garten sauteed onions and fennel in a pot with olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes then added the potatoes. “This is the way you can use up all kinds of leftover roasted vegetables,” Garten said. “Just whatever’s left over from dinner last night, just put it right in.”

She added chicken stock to the pot. “Of course, if you have homemade chicken stock, it’s always going to taste better,” she explained. “I just make big batches of it on a cold day, when I’m futzing around the house. The house smells good and I’ve got lots of chicken stock in the freezer.”

She brought the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for an hour. Garten added a cup of heavy cream. “You can add as much as you like or as little but it just really gives it a richness,” she shared. “And you can’t use anything other than cream because milk will curdle, it’ll be terrible.”

Garten removed the pot from the heat and ladled the soup into a food mill. “Of course, you can do this in a blender or a food processor but it ends up kind of pureed, like baby food,” she explained. “And I love the texture when you put it through a food mill — it’s got great body.”

Garten also explained that it wasn’t necessary to peel the potatoes for the recipe because the skins don’t pass through the food mill.

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star added garnishes before serving the soup

The Barefoot Contessa star returned the mixture to the pot. “Wow, this looks just amazing. It looks just thick and rich,” she said. “I’m gonna show you how I serve it up. I think we used to just serve a bowl of soup and leave it at that but now it’s really nice to serve it with garnishes so people know exactly what’s in it.”

She placed fennel fronds on top and added a drizzle of cream before serving the soup.

“Wow, that’s good,” she said after tasting it.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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